Autobiographies from the Dead – Abdullah the Terrorist

For the next several weeks, my blogs are going to consist of “autobiographies” written by some very special people.  They have one thing in common.  They are all dead.  Some have a burial place and some were simply discarded like pieces of trash.  Their stories will be told by the deceased themselves.  They cry out from the fields, rivers and graveyards to speak.  I have heard their cries.  They want me to tell their stories to you.  They want you to know what their living and dying was for.  This week, Abdullah will tell you the story of his life and death.

Abdullah the Terrorist

AbdullahMy name is Abdullah.  My name means “One who serves Allah.”  They will call me Abdullah the Terrorist.  I have killed twenty-five Jews, five Christians and of course myself.  They will call me a suicide bomber.  Calling it suicide is ironic since I did not want to die and neither did any of the thirty people I killed.

I am twenty-four years old and have recently graduated from Al-Azhar University in Gaza with a degree in Pharmacy.   My parents said that people will always need medicine and I could help many of my people with such a degree.  I had always wanted to help people and I thought of being a doctor but I did not like seeing blood.  Another irony, since I probably have not helped any of the thirty people I just murdered and now I am covered with their blood and my blood.  The blood of an Arab mixed with the blood of infidels.

I am not a fanatic.  I did not choose to do this act.  Never in my wildest fantasies did I think I would become a terrorist.  I am not the type of person who wanted to sacrifice themselves for a cause.  I certainly did not need thirty or forty virgins.  I had all the virgins I could want while I was in college.  How did I get to this place?  I should not be dead.  I should be enjoying a good career, a happy family and a long and prosperous life.

Father PrayingMuslim FamilyI was taught by my father and mother not to hate people.  I was the eldest son in a family of six.  I have two younger sisters and one younger brother.  My father was a well-respected business man with a small appliance store.  He had gone to college for two years but dropped out to help his father run a family business.   My mother is a stay at home mom who loves to read, sew, cook and take care of the family finances.  Both my mother and father are very devout Muslims.  My father always told me, “If you hate people, you are no better than the people you hate.”   So how did I become a “Terrorist?”

It began about a year after I graduated from college and after I had started working as a pharmacy assistant at a small pharmacy in Ramla.  The pharmacy was about an hour commute from my home in Gaza.  I had no problem getting a position there as I had never been linked to any anti-Israel activities.  One day, my father was visited by three men in masks shortly after my family had eaten dinner.  We were all told to “get lost.”   My father was given the following message.

“Allah has been good to you. You have a thriving business.  You prosper and your family prospers.  Over the years, nothing has ever been asked of you for your people and nothing has ever been given.  You take but you contribute little to the freedom of our country.  You are a Palestinian but you ignore the sufferings of your neighbors who are oppressed by the Jews.”

“What do you want of me” said my father.

“All we ask is that you speak to your son.  We want him to join us and help his people.”

“My son has his own free will” replied my father.

“Yes, but your son is also a Palestinian and all good Palestinians are expected to help overcome our oppression.  This is not a request.  It could go very badly for your family if you are on the wrong side here.  You are either with us are against us.  There is no in-between.  Speak to your son and explain this to him.”

“Are you threatening me?” said my father.

“We do not threaten.  We speak for the good of our people.  You have been asked nicely.  Please talk to your son and explain how it is to him.”

They left my father with the address of a meeting place for me to go to.

Later that week, my father came to talk to me about his conversation with the freedom fighters.  He told me what they had said.  He told me that he would not force a decision on me and that it was my choice whether to join them or not.  He said that regardless of my decision, he would stand by me and respect me.

Hamas visits AbdullahI would not dishonor my father and mother and family.  I decided to meet with the men whom he had talked to.  At our meeting, it was emphasized that I had a responsibility to my country as well as my family. Terrorist I was told that many of my friends were also freedom fighters and that I would bring great honor to my family by joining them.  I did not really have a choice.  There were no other options.  Thus, I became a freedom fighter for my country or in the West, I became a Terrorist.

terrorist meetingA few months went by and nothing really terrible occurred.  I continued working at the pharmacy by day.  At night, I ran messages around the town and other minor errands.  My family and friends continued on as before and to all appearances nothing really changed in my life.  Then one day, I was called to a special meeting.  Many of the upper level officers were there.  I had seen some of these men before but as a low level soldier I had never talked to them.  One older and very important looking man stood up and said:

“Abdullah, your time has come.”  Your country has need of your services.  You are the only one who can carry out this assignment.  It will require great bravery and great dedication to our mission.  Your actions will bring great glory and honor to your family.  You will be remembered by all of our people and the name of Abdullah will go down in history for your heroic deeds.”

My knees were shaking and I was full of fear but I answered “What must I do?”  I was going to become a real Jihadi.

Terrorist with bombThe next few weeks were full of instructions and operational details.   I often went between my pharmacy and a pharmacy in East Jerusalem to exchange products and some medicines.  On one of these trips, I would carry a package strapped to my chest.   I would probably not be inspected too thoroughly at the checkpoints since the guards were very used to seeing me come across.  They would usually just wave me through.  I did not have to use too much imagination to know what I would be carrying.  The entire apparatus that I had strapped to me weighed about twenty pounds.  It had a large cord with a ring on one end.  The other end of the cord was attached to a detonator.

My instructions were to go the pharmacy where I made my purchases and exchanges and simply act as I usually did.  I was to do this on a typical workday so as to appear that I was simply doing my job.  The time of day that I was to make the trip was between one and five in the afternoon.  It was thought that at this time of day, the pharmacy would be the busiest and there would be more Jews and tourists waiting for drugs or prescriptions.   I was to count the number of people in the pharmacy and note whether more or less were coming in.  If there were at least twenty five people shopping, then I was to yell out “Allahu Akbar” and pull the detonator.

The day started out like any other day in my life.  I rose at 7 AM.  My brother and sisters were all getting ready for school.  Mom was making breakfast for all of us and dad was doing some work on the internet.  I knew it was going to be the last time I would see any of them but I tried to act like nothing was different and nothing was going to happen.  We ate breakfast and I said goodbye to each of my siblings as they left.  As I went out the door, mom reminded me to take my lunch and I gave her a hug and told both my mom and dad goodbye.  I did not say farewell as I did not want them to be suspicious.  It was all I could do to leave my home knowing it would be the last time I would ever see it.

On the way to the pharmacy, I stopped at our headquarters.  Two men attached the weapon to my chest under my tunic.  The officer in charge asked me if I wanted to go over operational details one last time.  I said no and he asked me if I wanted to take anything for my nerves.  I again replied no.  I left for the pharmacy.  Once at my place of employment I went about my normal routine until 1 PM.  At that time, as I had planned, I said that I needed to go to Jerusalem to pick up some medicine and supplies.  This was a fairly usual procedure for me, so no one raised any eyebrows.

I passed through the check point with no problem.  I was greeted cordially by the guards who made some funny remark that I did not catch.  I guess I was too nervous to concentrate on any banter. I proceeded on to the bus which took me to the large pharmacy in East Jerusalem where I often purchased supplies.  I entered the revolving front door and was surprised at how many customers were either shopping or waiting to have a prescription filled.  I started to follow my instructions and count the number of people who were in the shop.  I stopped after I counted at least twenty five people who were there.  I knew it was time.  I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer to Allah.  I reached under my jacket.  I took hold of the large round ring.  I pulled it as hard as I could.  That is the last thing I remember doing.

**FILE2004** Paramedics take care of a victim who was wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus no. 19 in Jerusalem. Eleven people were killed and over 50 wounded, 13 of them seriously. Both the Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. January 29, 2004. Photo by Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ????? ???????  ???? ??? ???? ???? ?? ??

**FILE2004**
Paramedics take care of a victim who was wounded in a suicide bombing of an Egged bus no. 19 in Jerusalem. Eleven people were killed and over 50 wounded, 13 of them seriously. Both the Fatah-related Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. January 29, 2004. Photo by Flash90
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öéìåí æåí 77 çãùåú ôéâåò ìéã îåîðè

öéìåí æåí 77 çãùåú ôéâåò ìéã îåîðè

I have never seen such mayhem and carnage.  Even in war movies, it is nothing like this.  There are no words that can describe the horror.  People are screaming and crying and pulling their hair out.  Body parts and blood are everywhere.  People are calling out names and looking through the debris.  People are fainting and others are vomiting.  Everywhere, people are weeping.  Ambulances, doctors and nurses are attending to some injured people while others are being carried out on gurneys.  I look for my body but I cannot find it.  People are cursing Allah and many are swearing retribution on my people.  I am wondering if this is Jahannam and I am in it.  Surely, I am not in Jannah.

“Did I do the right thing?”   This is the question that now torments me.  Did I help my people?  Was it worth the cost to other people? What have I now brought down on my country?  I need to find Allah and ask him these questions.  My soul will never rest until they are answered.

Time for Questions:

What is a terrorist?  What is the difference between a terrorist and a freedom fighter?  Do you think terrorism is ever justified?   Do you think terrorists might be just like you or I?  Are terrorists cowards or courageous?  What do you think of the comment that the American Revolutionists were considered terrorists by the British during the American War of Independence?

Life is just beginning.

The following deaths are attributed to US military Action during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The toll of Iraq’s war dead covered by the report is limited to the early stages of the war, from March 19 when American tanks crossed the Kuwaiti border, to April 20, when US troops had consolidated their hold on Baghdad.

Researchers drew on hospital records, official US military statistics, news reports, and survey methodology to arrive at their figures.

Total war dead (Iraq) From March 19 to April 20

Between 10,800 and 15,100, with a midpoint of 12,950

Combatants killed (Iraq)

Between 7,600 and 10,800, with a midpoint of 9,200

Noncombatants killed (Iraq)

Between 3,200 and 4,300, with a midpoint of 3,750

Up to 15,000 people killed in invasion, claims thinktank  by Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

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